Springbok loose forward Marcell Coetzee will earn his first cap for the Bulls when they host the Stormers in Pretoria on Friday.
Bulls director of rugby Jake White has tweaked the starting lineup with scrumhalf Ivan van Zyl returning from injury to partner flyhalf Morne Steyn, while wing Stravino Jacobs reclaims the No 11 jersey in place of James Verity-Amm.
Besides the inclusion of Coetzee at openside flank, Mornay Smith and Gerhard Steenekamp will prop up the scrum alongside hooker Johan Grobbelaar.
Springbok utility back Gio Aplon has recovered from his ACL injury and will add experience off the bench, with fellow Springboks in prop Trevor Nyakane and flank Marco van Staden set to do the same.
‘We’ve welcomed back Gio and Ivan from injury while Marcell gets his first start for us. It’s great having experience of this calibre coming back into our system as we head into the busines end of the tournament,’ said White.
‘The loss against the Lions put things into perspective as we cannot afford even one slip-up in terms of the log. We need to make amends for it and there’s not many things tougher than a classic North-South derby,’ he added.
ALSO READ: Bulls to bash Stormers in must-win encounter
Bulls – 15 David Kriel, 14 Madosh Tambwe, 13 Marco Jansen van Vuren, 12 Cornal Hendricks, 11 Stravino Jacobs, 10 Morne Steyn, 9 Ivan van Zyl, 8 Duane Vermeulen, 7 Elrigh Louw, 6 Marcell Coetzee, 5 Ruan Nortje, 4 Walt Steenkamp, 3 Mornay Smith, 2 Johan Grobbelaar, 1 Gerhard Steenekamp.
Subs: 16 Schalk Erasmus, 17 Jacques van Rooyen, 18 Trevor Nyakane, 19 Janko Swanepoel, 20 Marco van Staden, 21 Zak Burger, 22 Chris Smith, 23 Gio Aplon.
🚨 TEAM ANNOUNCEMENT 🚨
Marcell Coetzee will make his much anticipated debut tomorrow 🔥 Gio Aplon will return from injury off the bench 💪
Comment with your score predictions below 👇#TrueToTheBlue
— Official Blue Bulls (@BlueBullsRugby) June 3, 2021
Photo: Wessel Oosthuizen/Gallo Images